“Never let them see you sweat.” Mary Kennedy, Irish author
“Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.” Romans 12:11 NLT
I have absolutely some of the best friends on the planet.
God led me through the ugliness of my sinful life, watched over me during my nearly successful suicide attempt in 2009, welcomed me with open arms when I turned to Him for help, kept me company (and safe) during 4 years in prison, guided me to Washington, DC and into Central Union Mission where He has brought into my life a constant stream of 1st-rate lovers of Christ who have offered me kindness, friendship, counsel, and compassion, and – above all else – He has remained steadfast in His love, patience, grace, mercy, and forgiveness towards me.
I have so much to be grateful for and so little to complain about, though you wouldn’t know it to listen to me sometimes.
Tonight, though, I am going to talk about what I learned from one of those friends, a very special person by the name of deedee (her idea to kick the caps, not mine.) deedee has been faithfully serving others for a long, long time. Just a small portion of her service involves coming to the Mission most every 1st and 3rd Wednesday to help serve the men their evening meal.
On this particular night, I was in the kitchen to see deedee and Josie, a friend she brought with her, and to bake some scones. It is warm in DC this time of year and it is downright hot in the kitchen and on the serving line, and at one point, deedee walked to the hand-sink to get paper towels to wipe the sweat off her brow.
“Love to serve, hate to sweat!” she said, laughing, as she walked back to the line.
And that is what serving the Lord, and those less fortunate than ourselves, is all about.
Serving through the sweat.
In other words, allowing our love of God, and the joy of service trump whatever discomfort or inconvenience may occur as a result. It’s OK to hate to sweat, as long as your enthusiasm and love for the service of God and others allows you to laugh while you are wiping it away.
So, whatever your particular ‘sweat’ is, be it actual perspiration, a temporary bad attitude, or a slight downturn in your enthusiasm – whatever it may be – just remind yourself who you are serving and why. Put the joy and the enthusiasm back into it, and go ahead and let them see you sweat.
And then laugh it off and repeat after deedee: “Love to serve, hate to sweat!”